Have you ever added a disk drive to a new computer, only to realize that you’re missing a large portion of the data that was stored in it? Even if that’s the case, don’t worry. There’s still a high probability that your data hasn’t been lost. It might be the result of formatting that was performed on your HDD when you added it to your computer. As a result, the system is just unable to locate the data stored in the HDD. Fortunately, data recovery of the hard disk drive is still possible even after it has gone through the formatting process.
In this article, we will talk about what formatting does and what you should do to make data recovery possible even after your disk drive was wiped before a backup of its data was made. Without a moment wasted, let’s dig in.
Always Backup Your Data Before Formatting
You should always back up the hard disk drive’s information in a separate storage medium before formatting it or placing it on a different device. Let’s say you have a well-functioning HDD, and you want to put it on a new computer. Before you even think about ejecting the HDD from your current device, you must back up its data. That’s because not everything happens the way we want it to. Therefore, there is always a chance for your HDD to suffer irreversible damage in the event of an unforeseen accident. For example, you might drop the HDD in the middle of carrying it to the new computer.
Maybe the drive would get damaged during the process of removal or reinstallation. You might also lose data as your hard disk drive goes through a formatting process. In other words, harmful things might happen to your HDD that could cause a severe data loss. That’s why you always need to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. Thus, you should always back up your HDD’s data, so regardless of what happens to the hardware, you will not lose it.
Moreover, thanks to various online cloud storage services such as Dropbox, iCloud, OneDrive, and Google Drive, you can keep all your data safe after backing it up in cloud storage. You can also back up your data on an external storage device such as an external HDD, SSD, or flash drive. Plus, both backup procedures are super easy. Do it—it’s always better to be safe than mourn for your lost data later.
Is Data Recovery Still Possible After Formatting the Drive Without Backing It Up?
Here’s the situation. You have already formatted your drive without making a backup and are now missing much of your crucial data. Thankfully, not all hope is lost yet. In fact, you can still recover a good amount of your deleted data depending on how you have formatted your hard disk drive. The procedure can generally be classified into two different kinds: Full formatting and Quick formatting. In this section, we will discuss what each of these two formatting methods does and how it affects the chances of data recovery after formatting.
When you choose to perform full formatting on your disk drive, the system will inspect it closely and look for bad sectors. Bad sectors might cause severe functional failure to your hard disk drive. That’s why full formatting is important. It will identify these sectors and take precautions against them. Full formatting is also a necessary procedure if you’re planning to sell or give your disk drive to someone else. This process will wipe your HDD clean, making accessing your old data almost impossible.
That’s exactly why it’s bad news for those who want to recover data from their formatted storage drive. As full formatting erases data thoroughly, it’s difficult to recover it using consumer-level premium data recovery software. Hence, if you have performed a full format on your HDD without backing up its data, you should contact a data restoration specialist immediately.
Quick formatting is exactly what it sounds like. It’s quick and easy, and lots of people use this option to format their storage solution as soon as possible. But there are a few downsides. For example, when you select the quick formatting option, the system doesn’t look for the possible bad sectors. As a result, this type of formatting won’t help you verify and fix bad sectors or other problems related to your storage drive. When you perform quick formatting, the system merely hides the data stored in the HDD, SSD, or NMVe instead of erasing it completely. In other words, your data is still available, but the drive can no longer locate or restore it without external help.
If you perform quick formatting on your storage drive, in most cases, data recovery is possible even if you haven’t created a backup. However, we highly recommend you avoid the use of free data recovery software to retrieve your data. While retrieval is possible, downloading new software to your device might overwrite the existing data on your disk. With that in mind, if your formatted storage disk contains sensitive information you can’t afford to lose, consulting a data recovery expert is the best solution.
Steps to Take and Avoid After You Format a Drive
No matter what kind of formatting you have performed on your storage solution, if you didn’t back up your data beforehand, you need to stop using the disk before performing data recovery on it. Even if you made a quick edit, you should not use the hard disk drive to save any more data. Once you format a disk drive, any new data saved on it will replace the previously stored one. Consequently, your old data will be gone forever. It won’t make a comeback even if you take your hard disk drive to a data recovery specialist.
If you don’t want to lose data from your formatted hard disk drive, stop using it immediately. Though we advise against it, if you decide to use data rescue software, don’t download the application on the device that contains the formatted drive. Instead, download the premium software to a separate storage medium, such as a USB drive or external HDD, and use it from there. However, if you conducted full formatting, not even premium consumer-level data restoration applications can retrieve information. In that case, you must contact a reputed data recovery company or professional immediately.